How to answer the dreaded question: What’s for dinner?

What do you want for dinner?

This is probably my least favorite question in the world (and I’m a teacher, so it is outranking a LOT of questions from surly teenagers).

The worst part is, I’m usually the one asking it.  

My least favorite response:  I don’t care.

Now, if it were true that the speaker did indeed not care, then these would be probably be my favorite three words; however, he does care, and so instead it just irritates me.

I know I have it easier than all the busy moms out there who have to please at least two other people, but I can’t feel any extra sympathy–I don’t care who you are, it sucks having to decide what’s for dinner every.  single.  night.  

There are a few meals that are in our bi-weekly, if not weekly, rotation.  Homemade meals such as tacos, spaghetti or lasagna, calzones, and stir-fry will probably make it onto the meal plan at least twice a month.  They’re easy, tasty, and reliable. We do order pizza every other week, but for the most part, we cook all of our dinners, and you know what?  Despite preferring home cooked meals, it can still feel like a chore.

In truth, I don’t mind the chopping of vegetables or the cooking or any of that, I just hate deciding what we’re going to eat.  UGH.

Menu planning to the rescue, right? 

Well…. Yes and no.  

I love to plan, but I hate to commit (ironic?) just in case I change my mind, so a meal plan makes me nervous.  It’s just a tiny bit to rigid. There have been days when I write spaghetti down for Monday, but when I get home I don’t feel like cutting up onion and garlic to make sauce, so instead we have leftovers and move spaghetti to Tuesday.  Those people who can plan a whole month of dinners?  Dang! I am a little bit in awe, but, alas, that kind of planning is not for me.

So instead of a meal “plan”, we have a meal “list”.  

My husband and I each pick two or three meals for the week (tacos and pizza don’t count!), I write them down, buy whatever we need on Sunday and then each day we have whichever thing we feel like.  Unless we had a crockpot meal planned: we save those for busy or late evenings so we have minimal prep.

While this has solved most of our daily “what do we want for dinner” dilemmas and vastly cut down on our grocery trips, there is still the issue of coming up with ideas on Sunday.

I love to open Pinterest and sift through my recipes board, but then 30 minutes in I’m usually overwhelmed with choices, so I close all my tabs and make none of the potentially life-changing recipes.

Enter the What’s for Dinner? Choice Board

I created this little organizer so we have a quick cheat sheet to glance at when we need inspiration.  When we try and like a new recipe, it is added to the appropriate category on the board so it’s in rotation for our Sunday plans.

It’s not pretty (I’m a simple girl) but you can use this link to get your own.  Just make a copy and then you can type on it or print and write on it.  

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I keep ours in a page protector on the fridge so it doesn’t get trashed.  I also write our meals down each week in my Living Well planner, so I can look back to see if it’s too soon to have beef stroganoff again.  

On Sunday mornings before I head to the grocery store, we glance at our chart and pick a few items.  We either build a meal by choosing one from each of the top three columns, or choose just one from the Standalone Meals section.

This isn’t rocket science, but it has made our lives just that little bit easier.  Granted, we still have those “I don’t know” moments, but that’s where Pinterest comes in.  (Check out my “Good Eats” board for recipes to try and my “Tried and True” board for my favorites).

Thanks to this handy dandy chart, I am not annoyed after work when I have to prep for dinner–I already know what we’re having, I have all the ingredients, and I can change my mind if I want, because I have everything for the other meals too!  Win, win!

What about you? How do you simplify your meal planning?

3 Items to Pack for Sandals (and 3 to leave at home)

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In 2013 my husband and I got married on a beach in Negril, Jamaica.  Our eight days in paradise were spent at a Sandals resort.  Prior to this trip, I had always eyed their cheesy commercials with mockery.  

But after only a couple days there, we were hooked.  As a matter of fact, we booked our next Sandals trip at the “Soon Come Back” desk after only three days at the resort.

Since then, we have traveled to four other resorts and our next trip is in just a few months.

Over the course of our five trips, I have learned a thing or two about traveling to Sandals, so today I wanted to give you some ideas of what to pack for your upcoming trip (and a few things you can leave at home).  We pack two carry-on suitcases, so we have to be selective in our packing.

These are the three things I always make sure to pack:

  1. Sunscreen–okay, I hate to be so obvious, but if you take nothing else, this is the ONE thing you should not leave home without.  Obviously, you don’t want to get sunburned.  My husband and I tan relatively easily, so if we go in the summer we usually go with a base tan just from living in Alabama and being outside all the time.  Still, regardless of the time of year, we always pack both SPF 50 and SPF 30.  We use the 50 for at least the first two days of beach time, and then we gradually switch to the 30 for the rest of the trip.  So far this method has worked perfectly for us.  We come home without a burn but with an obvious beach bum tan.  Also, if you forget yours, you will regret having to pay full price for it at the Sandals Gift Shop.
  2. Four or less pairs of shoes–This might be hard for some of you, but I’m not a shoe person so it’s no biggie for me.  You will definitely want to make sure you have the following:
    • For women:
      • one pair of rubber flip flops for the beach–some women wear their Tory Burch sandals on the beach, but I prefer to wear some I can stick under the beachside shower head to remove all the sand before heading to lunch or up to our room.
      • one pair of neutral dress sandals (like these from Target, for example)–I like to be able to wear these with cute shorts and a tank or a dress for both the casual and dressy dinner options.
      • one pair of tennis shoes–for travel (leggings and tennis shoes FTW!),  for working out (okay, I might run once while we’re there), and/or for excursions that require closed toe shoes.  You may need closed toes shoes to ride horses, ATVs, or zip lining, so make sure you check ahead of time.
      • one pair of high heel shoes/wedges/sandals or an additional pair of dressy flat sandals–if you want to switch it up or if certain dresses look better with heels.
    • For Men:
      • Sandals–Guess it depends on the guy, but my husband just brings his one pair of Sanuks that he can use for the beach and dinner.
      • Dress shoes–Men will need at least one pair of nice shoes for dinner at some of the dress code restaurants.  Funny story: On our second trip, we came completely unprepared without dress shoes or pants for my husband.  Since we got a fantastic deal on a butler suite, we were blessed with two awesome butlers taking care of us.  One of them let my husband borrow a pair of shoes and a pressed pair of khakis–what a gem!
      • Tennis shoes–Again, for traveling, working out, or excursions.
  3. Jacket or Cardigan–This suggestions depends on the person.  I often get really cold after I eat, so I like something to cover up my shoulders.  Our last trip was to Nassau in December, and, as it turns out, it was much cooler than I expected at night and most of the restaurants had indoor seating, so I was often a little cold (I use that word loosely as it was still in the 60’s-70’s at night).  I usually pack one neutral cardigan (black, white, or grey) to wear on the plane and then have for any nights I might need it.  Luckily, they don’t take up much space so packing one or two is an easy fix.

What you can leave at home:  

  1. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body wash–Sandals provides Red Lane Spa products and they are amazing! After our first trip, I stopped packing these toiletries.  What’s the point? The shampoo and conditioner are sulfate-free, which is what I use at home.  The lotion and body wash smell amazing.  Even my husband leaves his behind and we share what Sandals provides.  And don’t worry about running out, they will be replenished!
  2. Towels–Sandals provides all the towels you need, for your shower and your beach experience.  The beach towels are nice and big, but we always use two each so they cover the entire chair and so we have one to dry with and one to sit on.
  3. Camouflage clothes or hats– Did you know that many of the islands in the Caribbean will not let you wear camo?  Upon arrival at the airport in Jamaica, my husband was singled out by the somewhat scary Jamaican security officers and told to change his shorts in order to pass through customs. He was told not to wear them while in the country. Not gonna lie, it was a little scary.  Lesson learned: We don’t pack anything camo when we travel to the islands.

Obviously this list list is not all-inclusive, but since the resort is (see what I did there?), you really don’t need much!  Depending on your excursion plans, you may need a few items you wouldn’t otherwise pack, but for us beach bums, we can pack pretty light.

If you want to know more about traveling to Sandals, please feel free to send me an email, comment below, or check out previous posts about our experiences.

A Review of Sandals La Toc (St. Lucia)

A Review of our stay and wedding at Sandals Negril

Review of our Wedding at Sandals Negril

This is an old review from Trip Advisor (pre blog days)

My husband and I just returned from our wedding at Sandals Negril and we absolutely loved it. The resort is very nice (although, as others have said, the rooms could use some updating—which I think they are scheduled for). We traveled with some family and friends for the first five days and then had the weekend to ourselves. It was great for both the group and just us. I will break down this review into different categories.

Wedding: We had very good interactions with the stateside wedding planner as well as the planners on the property. On our second day at the resort, we met with Charmaine and Lea who helped us choose our locations for the wedding and the reception. We got married in the beach gazebo at 4pm and it was perfect. We brought an iPod to play music and didn’t decorate the gazebo at all. It was absolutely beautiful without any embellishments. You can’t really beat the ocean as a backdrop! The reception in the gardens was kind of like a formality, more than anything. The back of the property is very narrow so the traffic behind the resort was right there—only a few trees and a chain-link fence (thankfully hidden by bushes) separated us from the road. It was SO HOT back there as it’s rather secluded and there is not a breeze. So, basically we did the cake cutting and a few pictures and headed back to the beach. Overall, everything was great and we wouldn’t have changed anything about it.

Restaurants: We never went hungry at Sandals Negril. We especially liked Cucina Romano. We ate there with family and friends the night of our wedding. Our server, Christopher, was fantastic. He even made a special trip to get my mom ice cream when she joked with him that it was all she wanted for dessert.  My husband and I went back there on our last night at the resort because we liked it so much. We also loved Kimonos. While the food was mostly your basic hibachi grill food (although the second time he cooked up the tuna my husband caught on his fishing trip), the chef we had was totally worth a second trip back! His name was Gion (I’m not sure about the spelling). He sang the WHOLE time! He was incredible. We went back another night and came to find that his presentation was not a routine but an improv session. He was so entertaining and very friendly. If you go, request him as your chef! The other restaurants were fine although the service at the Sundowner takes FOREVER. If you get room service, I’d suggest ordering the night before so you don’t have to wait as long at breakfast time.

Butlers: We decided to go all out on this vacation since it was our wedding and honeymoon, so we reserved a butler suite. We had Daron and Baisil as our butlers and they were awesome! They would surprise us with lunch and drinks when we least expected it; Daron met us as we got off the snorkeling boat, took our fins and handed us drinks. They reserved seats on the beach for us each day, reserved tables for dinner and escorted us to the restaurants to seat us. We really appreciated their friendly service. It was very clear that Daron, especially, actually enjoys his work but both of them were pleasant and helpful.

Suggestions: If you are there for the beach party, make sure to attend it! The food was fantastic and the entertainment was pretty cool. Also, on Sunday nights they have a steel-drum band from Kingston and they were phenomenal!

Complaints: the sidewalks are slippery as heck when it rains!!! Not much they can do about it but I nearly wiped out (and did once) on several occasions. The sand fleas (or flies) are terrible! Bring bug spray and anti-itch stuff. If we had had those two necessities, we wouldn’t have a complaint. Our “wedding” dinner at the Barefoot by the Sea restaurant was rather terrible. We chose our menu at our wedding planning meeting and our dinner was at 6:30 on Saturday after all of our guests had headed home. We were walked to a beautiful table by Basil, but that’s pretty much where the good stuff ended. It seemed that no one really knew were coming and the chef wasn’t prepared to make our meal. We waited a while for our appetizers but got the soup and salad in a decent amount of time. After that we had to wait over an hour for our entrée. We kept being told that “it was coming” and “it was on its way”…but it was not. We got our entree around 8pm. We told them to cancel our dessert as we didn’t feel like waiting any longer. This was truly the only real “problem” we faced on our stay.

We HIGHLY recommend Sandals Negril. We enjoyed it so much, we’ve already booked another trip to Sandals next year, although this time we are trying La Toc in St. Lucia.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147313-d214225-r169524892-Sandals_Negril_Beach_Resort_Spa-Negril_Westmoreland_Parish_Jamaica.html#

Adding Sticker Sheets to My Living Well Planner

I am an Erin Condren LOVER! For real, but this year I decided to try something different: I purchased a Living Well planner.

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Since it’s only January 6th, I haven’t decided if I like it better than my EC Life Planner or not, but it’s mine for the year, so I’m going to make it work for me either way.

One minor annoyance for me was the single pocket.  In addition, the sticker sheets that I received as a bonus have to be kept somewhere because they are not attached.  I didn’t want them taking up space in my pocket, so today I fixed that!

You will need these supplies:

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Hole puncher, scissors, pen, sticky durable file tabs

Step One: First, you need to use the pen and tab of your choice to figure out how far apartfullsizerender-6 to space the holes.  I just lay the tab against the rings of the planner to measure it out.  I use the pen to make marks to guide my hole punching.

Be careful to keep it kind of straight, otherwise the tab gets kind of wonky and won’t fit quite right.  Once you make one good one, you can use it as a template for any others you want to make.

 

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Step Two: The next step is to hole punch.  Sadly I only have a teeny hole puncher, so I have to punch two or three little holes to fit the double rings of the Living Well Planner.

A normal size hole puncher might be a tad big for these tabs, but it’s worth a try.

 

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Step Three:  Use the scissors to cut a slit straight down from each whole punch so the tab can “grab” onto the rings of the planner.

 

 

Step Four: Now, you can use the pen to push the tab onto the rings of the planner to make sure it fits.  If it doesn’t, you can pull it off and make some adjustments using the whole puncher (or start over if necessary).  If it fits, then you can attach the sticker sheets (or whatever you want to add to the planner–to do lists, meal planners, etc) to the sticky part of the tab!  Easy peasy.

I hope this was helpful for you!  Let me know if you have questions and please share what adjustments you’ve made to your planner!

~Kristy

The Illusion of “Busy”

“These teachers don’t understand how busy we are–they don’t get here at 6 am for practice, and then have practice after school, and then have homework to do or a job to go to,” grumbled one of my basketball players a couple weeks ago.

“Well…”I argued, “there are a lot of teachers who have kids, and they truly are busy.  They have work to do after school, they have games to go to, practices to take their kids to, houses to take care of, dinner to make. You know how it is. So, I know y’all are busy, but some of them are too.” And then I paused to think about how NOT busy I am.

These days, being busy is part of our constant state of competition with everyone around us.  You know how it is, you pass a colleague or neighbor, “can’t talk, so much to do!”  They nod their heads in understanding of your frazzled state–they are in the same situation, or maybe one that is worse (gasp!).  So you continue on, crossing things off your giant to do list.

Ah, the to do list.  The messy, crossed out, added-to measure of our perpetual stress.  But, I don’t know about you, I am always adding things to my list that I just did, simply so I can feel accomplished.  Because, if it isn’t written down, did I even do it?!

But you know what? I’m NOT that busy.  I’m pretty confident that I waste a lot of time, especially at home.  Could I have tackled that project this weekend?  Or was I too busy?  Yes I could have, and no I was not.

I think, because it’s “cool” to be busy, that I tell myself I am when in fact I am not.  But when I think over what I did on any given day, there were definitely periods of time when I was doing nothing at all.

I think I’m okay with that though.  Why? Because I’m pretty happy, despite not accomplishing everything on my to do list.  I seriously believe in “me” or “us” time.  I like taking an hour to cuddle with my dogs and watch “This is Us” (and cry my eyes out–am I right?!). I like to take time to cook with my husband and discuss our day over dinner.  I like to take time to read a good book.  Could I have been more productive?  Oh, yes.  Would it have made me happier?  Doubt it.

Here’s my point.  Being busy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I can get stuff done without having to give up my happiness.  My bathroom will get cleaned, if not today, then tomorrow (or the next day). And we’ll all be fine either way.

Things are about to get crazy for the next month with the holidays coming up quickly.  So friends, keep that to do list (because, if you’re anything like me,  you’ll forget everything you actually do need to do), but don’t be a slave to it.  Be productive, but don’t be “busy”.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Worst. Morning. Ever. 

This morning I woke up to the smell of dog poop.

That’s never good.

6:37 am. Wanda May had gotten out of bed, which I had sensed, and I had waited for her to scratch at the door. I heard her squirreling around, and then she came back to bed.

Good. Back to sleep. But then…

Sniff. Sniff. Are you freaking kidding me?!?

So I get up, grab some toilet paper, pick up the offending smell and plop it in the toilet, grabbing the carpet cleaner as I head back into the bedrooom.

Thankfully, it wasn’t the runny, sticky, nasty kind. It just sat on the carpet for a minute, leaving no trace. Whew.

Meanwhile, my husband is soundly sleeping in bed while Kosmo, Wanda, and Georgie (yes we have three dogs in our bed. Yes something is wrong with us. Yes we have a king size bed) watch me take care of it.

Well, I’m up now so I guess I’ll take G-man out since he’s up too and I don’t want him to have an accident. I scoop his long skinny body up and he stretches, as always. We head to the door and then squish. I step in something warmish and gooey and disgusting.

Dog puke.

Kosmo had puked on the floor.

Sonofa—. Why?!?

So I hobble into the hallway still toting Georgie. I sort of toss him outside, and go into clean my foot, and grab cleaning supplies for the pile of puke on the floor. Since Casey is still asleep (he was up late doing stuff for work), I can’t yet run the Bissel spotbot.  I head out with Georgie to be sure he takes care of all of his business. There’s no way I could handle another stinky pile of anything.

When we return inside, Georgie starts asking for breakfast. Crap. We finished every drop of dog food last night with the intention of getting more after puppy training today. That’s in three hours. There’s no way he’s waiting three hours to eat. In the meantime he’ll be barking, biting, and generally going berserk.

Perhaps he just wants to go outside again (pipe dream). I usher him outside, turning the lock on the door as we go out. Wait. Why did I do that? Now we’re locked out. Now I have to text my husband to come let us in. He’ll be really impressed with that one.

Door is unlocked. We go back in. Georgie has now reached level 7 of crazy, which includes trying to eat me.

A walk: Maybe that will help.

We head outside again. He resists my efforts to harness him, because his one track mind is stuck on food. Finally, I wrestle him into his harness and drag his scrawny butt out the gate (our puppy trainer would be very disappointed in us).

It’s 7am. Cloudy. Nice morning for a walk. (I guess. If I can’t be sleeping, that is).

We head out on our little one mile loop. Eventually his reluctance wears off and he is happy to be out. He finds a stick to carry around for a bit. Life is good.

For about 20 minutes.

Then we’re back in our driveway and the goodness wears off. Unfortunately, none of my neighbor friends are up yet because it’s 7:20 on Saturday morning, so I can’t borrow dog food from them.

In the meantime, Casey has let Kosmo and Wanda out, so Georgie is attacking them (at least I got a break) and it’s basically mass chaos.

Georgie’s now at level 10: Desperation. He will do anything for food. Anything. All rules and training are out the window. Nothing is off limits. It’s scary.

And then the neighbor lady across the street who has three giant dogs is out in her drive way. I accost her and beg for a cup of dog food because I’m a bad dog-mom who didn’t plan ahead. She obliges. She has saved us all. Bless her. (I wish I knew her name but it seems too late to ask now–they’ve lived there like three years).

Finally, he settles.  For the most part he remained settled until puppy training.

This was him before we left for PetSmart:

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We made it through our hour of training–he was on his (mostly) best behavior and now he’s sleeping on the couch.

I made it through this terrible no good very bad morning.  I’m just hoping I can sleep in tomorrow.

Hope your Saturday morning was better than mine, y’all! 🙂

When there was an almost fight in my classroom

I remember it like it was yesterday.

But thankfully it was seven years ago.

I had moved into my new classroom at the senior campus.  I was to teach five periods of English 11.  It was maybe the fifth day of school and I had just had a broken back molar removed, so I had missed a day and when I returned, it was with a puffy face.

That was fun.

Anyway, I’d made it through the whole day and was looking forward to it being over.  It was 7th period. We were reviewing literary terms (gosh, that was super boring. We don’t do that anymore).

Over to my left I heard a little kerfuffle happening.  Nothing loud or elaborate, just something.  I ignored it for a minute, hoping it would sort itself out.

It didn’t.

The rest happened in slow motion and it’s a little fuzzy, despite me being able to picture it all in sequence.

There sitting in her desk is Whitney, an African American girl who looks beyond mad. Behind her sits Johnny, a large white (for lack of a better descriptor) “good ol’ boy”.  His feet were on the basket under her chair (who ever thought those were a good idea?!?) and she said, “boooy, you better stop shaking my chair.”

I glance over and assume (because I was clearly very naive) that he would stop.

He didn’t.

Before I could even get involved, she whipped around and slapped him across the face.  I was stunned. I stood there for a beat thinking what the hell am I supposed to do now?! while Whitney sat there shaking, mumbling about how she told him to stop and how he’d been messing with her all day.

I remember saying “are you kidding me right now? It’s the fifth day of school.”

And then I finally burst into action.

“Q, come up here and continue this lesson please”, I said calmly to a hilarious, yet relatively studious, student in the back.  He proceeded to the front of the room, while I pointed at Whitney and said “you, hallway please” and at Johnny, “you, stay there and don’t move”.

Meanwhile Whitney is still talking.  So, Johnny, being such a delight says, “You better shut the f*** up.”

Believe it or not, I did not lose my cool.  My mouth might have hung open for a split second, but I followed Whitney out the door and hit the call button on my way.  I glanced in the classroom.  The kids were stunned but mostly paying attention as Q led them through the powerpoint (seriously, so freaking boring. I’m embarrassed to admit we were doing that).

Meanwhile, in the hallway I had a great talk with Whitney.  We discussed what had been happening all day, how he’d been sort of bullying her, but also how hitting was usually not the best route for resolving problems.  I encouraged her to go for a little walk around the hall while we waited for the administrator.

I went back in the classroom and got back to reviewing.  I basically acted as though nothing had happened.  A minute or two later I saw the principal outside, so again I passed the lesson over and headed out the door.  I recounted the whole ordeal and pointed out the offender inside.  Needless to say, he was not surprised to see who the instigator was.

He took Johnny, I returned to teaching, and half an hour later class and the day ended.  I held it all together until the last kid left, then I sprinted next door to relive the experience with my friend and neighbor, Emily.

As the year went on, 7th period became my favorite class.  Despite many attempts to connect with Johnny, we never did click.  He ended up leaving about halfway through the year.  Whitney and I became very close, and she came to visit as a senior quite often.

At the end of the year, when we’d all become very comfortable with each other, the kids said “Hey Ms. Kruse, remember that time Whitney hit that kid? You were so calm–it was freaky.”  And then we all died laughing.

Thankfully, nothing that ridiculous has happened in my classroom since (knock on wood), but I think it’s funny how even those terrible situations can actually bring a class closer together.  The kids saw my reaction and learned a lot about me from it.  They understood that a) I wasn’t going to tolerate that kind of nonsense, and b) I wasn’t going to freak out about stuff.  I feel like there’s a lot to be said for that.

So, here’s to another year–hopefully an uneventful one!

Summer’s Over

School starts next week.  So, of course, I’m feeling overwhelmed and a little sad.

I had so many goals for my summer, and you know how many I accomplished?

Zero.

Yep, zero.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a fabulous summer with two great trips, some riding, some reading, some relaxing.  Just none of it felt like enough. I need about two to three more weeks of those things.

Georgie has finally gotten to the point where I don’t feel like I have to watch him like a hawk 24/7, so I can accomplish things around the house, spend time planning or whatever.  For most of the summer I spent my time watching him.  Making sure he wasn’t peeing on the floor or eating my shoes.  But now I feel like I wasted most of my summer and I have no time to catch up.

Ugh. I’m being whiny, so let me take a moment to highlight what was GOOD about my summer:

  • We got a puppy (somewhat of a curse but also a huge blessing)
  • I spent two weeks in Michigan with my family who I miss so much
  • We went to Sandals in Antigua for a week (full review coming soon) and booked two more trips, one to Nassau in December and one to Great Exuma in July.  So I have a trip to look forward at the end of each semester. Yay!
  • I did get to ride (if not as often as I’d like), including a night spent on an awesome trip with girlfriends.
  • I got to spend a little time at friends’ pools.
  • I shared many a meal with friends who I don’t get to see often during the school year.
  • I got to stay up late and sleep in (okay, not very often)

I have a few days left and I want to make the most of them.

Eek! I’ll be back soon!

 

They’re baaaaack (#btbc16)

They’re back. All twelve (or more) of them. Finally.

I’m talking about our hummingbirds.  We have three feeders and a swing in our back yard and, I’m not gonna lie, we’re a little obsessed.  We sit on our patio watching them all the time.

We’ve had about five of them back for a month or two now, but just this week the rest have come back with a vengeance.  Yay!

I especially love it when they start rolling around in the air, chasing each other.  It’s funny to watch the dogs watch them–they always seem very confused. They swoop down and zip right by your head, sometimes it feels as though they hit you, but really it’s just the wind their little bodies created.

If you enjoy these awesome creatures as much as I do, follow @thehummingbirdphotographer on Instagram. She has some AMAZING photos! And don’t waste your money on that store-bought feed, just mix one cup sugar with four cups of water, boil, put in the fridge and fill up your feeders as needed. They love it!

 

 

Proud Moment (#btbc16)

“The word is ‘depressing'”

“Oooh, I have a good one!”

Three red cards are laid down.

One young man picks up each card and reads them out loud. “Doing the dishes, Ernest Hemingway, Buying Groceries.  Hmmm”

“What is there to think about? The answer is obvious,” says one confident young lady.

After a minute of hemming and hawing, he chooses “Doing the dishes.” The other three kids, even the winner, immediately question is choice.

“Seriously? How could you NOT choose Hemingway?”

“Yeah, he is super depressing.”

“Remember? He shot himself.”

“And his mom dressed him like a girl.”

“And we read that sad story about the abortion.”

“Doing the dishes is nowhere near as depressing as Ernest Hemingway.”

Of course, I’m near by cleaning out my closet (it’s the last full day of school and a total waste of time) and my heart is bursting out of my chest with happiness.  These kids REMEMBER HEMINGWAY from September! Hallelujah!

And on top of that, they’re disappointed when their friend isn’t clever enough to see beyond his dislike of doing the dishes to choose Hemingway as the best answer.

It wasn’t much, just a game of Apples to Apples, but it was one of my favorite moments of the whole year.